Not Another New Year’s Resolution
#54. When you fall, get up immediately and start over.
Really? I can do that? I’m worthy to get up and start all over again?
It’s that time of year again where our news feeds are flooded with new year resolution suggestions and tactics. People are discussing why you weren’t successful in the previous year at achieving your goals and what may work in the next year.
In reality we know what works best: simplicity. It’s in the simple living and the simple changes we make to our lifestyle that makes everlasting change.
I want to share the following 55 Maxims of Fr. Thomas Hopko (Priest and Theologian, 1939 – 2015) where he demonstrates the art of living. He takes a holistic approach, encompassing all aspects of our life: spiritual, intellectual, emotional, physical and relational.
I challenge you to pick 3 – 4 and do them well this year.
- Be always with Christ.
- Pray as you can, not as you want.
- Have a keepable rule of prayer that you do by discipline.
- Say the Lord’s Prayer several times a day.
- Have a short prayer that you constantly repeat when your mind is not occupied with other things.
- Make some prostrations when you pray.
- Eat good foods in moderation.
- Keep the Church’s fasting rules.
- Spend some time in silence every day.
- Do acts of mercy in secret.
- Go to liturgical services regularly.
- Go to confession and communion regularly.
- Do not engage intrusive thoughts and feelings. Cut them off at the start.
- Reveal all your thoughts and feelings regularly to a trusted person.
- Read the scriptures regularly.
- Read good books a little at a time.
- Cultivate communion with the saints.
- Be an ordinary person.
- Be polite with everyone.
- Maintain cleanliness and order in your home.
- Have a healthy, wholesome hobby.
- Exercise regularly.
- Live a day, and a part of a day, at a time.
- Be totally honest, first of all, with yourself.
- Be faithful in little things.
- Do your work, and then forget it.
- Do the most difficult and painful things first.
- Face reality.
- Be grateful in all things.
- Be cheerful.
- Be simple, hidden, quiet and small.
- Never bring attention to yourself.
- Listen when people talk to you.
- Be awake and be attentive.
- Think and talk about things no more than necessary.
- Speak simply, clearly, firmly and directly.
- Flee imagination, analysis, figuring things out.
- Flee carnal, sexual things at their first appearance.
- Don’t complain, mumble, murmur or whine.
- Don’t compare yourself with anyone.
- Don’t seek or expect praise or pity from anyone.
- We don’t judge anyone for anything.
- Don’t try to convince anyone of anything.
- Don’t defend or justify yourself.
- Be defined and bound by God alone.
- Accept criticism gratefully but test it critically.
- Give advice to others only when asked or obligated to do so.
- Do nothing for anyone that they can and should do for themselves.
- Have a daily schedule of activities, avoiding whim and caprice.
- Be merciful with yourself and with others.
- Have no expectations except to be fiercely tempted to your last breath.
- Focus exclusively on God and light, not on sin and darkness.
- Endure the trial of yourself and your own faults and sins peacefully, serenely, because you know that God’s mercy is greater than your wretchedness.
- When you fall, get up immediately and start over.
- Get help when you need it, without fear and without shame.
Which ones stick out to you? Tell us below!
(Photo by Aman Deep)